alprazolam (Xanax, Xanax XR, Niravam) Anti-Anxiety Drug

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is the dosage for Xanax, and how do I take it?

  • The starting dose for treating anxiety is 0.25-0.5 mg 3 to 4 times daily using immediate release tablets. The dose may be increased every 3-4 days to a maximum dose of 4 mg daily.
  • The starting dose for treating panic attacks is 0.5 mg 3 times daily. Doses can be increased every 3-4 days but by no more than 1 mg daily.
  • The effective dose for preventing panic attacks may be as high as 10 mg daily for some patients. The starting dose when using extended release tablets to treat panic disorder is 0.5 mg once daily and the average dose is 3-6 mg once daily.
  • Alprazolam may be taken with or without food.

Which drugs or supplements interact with medication?

Is alprazolam safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam, can cause fetal abnormalities and should not be used in pregnancy.
  • Alprazolam is excreted in breast milk and can affect nursing infants. Therefore, it should not be used by women who are nursing.

What else should I know about this medication?

Alprazolam is available as:

  • Tablets: 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 mg. 
  • Tablets ER (extended release): 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 mg.
  • Tablets (Orally disintegrating): 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 mg. Solution: 1 mg/ml

Keep alprazolam should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

REFERENCE:

FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/29/2016
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